Wednesday, January 13, 2010

For Karissa: Gone Too Soon



I can't remember how exactly, but last year, I stumbled across a blog called Prissy Green. I was captured from the first sentence I read. The author, Karissa Gindling, was a gorgeous brunette with a smile you'd see on a Crest commercial. A natural beauty, in every sense of the word. Karissa was my "eco-goddess". She made her "green" lifestyle seem so fun and achievable. Sugar scrubs, mud masks, milk baths. Who wouldn't want to hang out with her everyday? If I lived near Indianapolis, I could picture us sharing a laugh over a cup of coffee tea. That's right, Karissa didn't drink coffee. Her kind soul, delightful sense of humor and down-to-earth personality were transparent in her writing. I always looked forward to what she had to say next. I imagined meeting her at a blog conference one day and hugging her, thanking her for her contribution.

The closest I had gotten to "meeting" her was when I won a giveaway she hosted during Beauty Week. We exchanged a few emails in which I told her I loved her blog and to keep up the good work. She was keeping herself busy preparing for an upcoming Fitness event but graciously thanked me for the compliments. Eight weeks later, when I still hadn't received the prize from the sponsor, Karissa reached out to make things right. She was so helpful and courteous. She pretty much cemented herself on my list of daily reads.

So, you can imagine my shock yesterday when I read that the sweet girl whose blog had inspired so many had passed away. That she had...taken her own life. At a tender 31 years. I know she had written that she was taking a short break to deal with some changes in her life. But not once did I believe that would be her last post. Or that the "break" would be indefinite.

I can't wrap my head around it. I am distraught, unable to understand what could have led to such a tragedy. I can only imagine how her family and friends - those who were fortunate enough to have known her beyond the blog world - are feeling. All I have are a handful of emails that I keep reading over and over in an attempt to gain a shred of understanding. Is there anything I could have done - any of us could have done - to prevent this? If only we had known how lost and lonely she must have been feeling in her final moments. I keep wishing I could turn back the hands of time so that the person on the other end of those emails would not really be gone forever. But I cannot. So, instead, I will hug my friends and family. Tell them how much they mean to me. Not let a second go by without sharing my love for everyone in my life. And letting them know that I am always here for them. As I am for you.

Karissa's Facebook page presents the following quote, which I find dreadfully eerie:
The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul. ~ David O. McKay
We often downplay depression, calling it "the blues". Convincing ourselves that we will "get over it". But it is a serious illness that warrants, at the very least, a phone call. If you or anyone you know is exhibiting symptoms of depression, PLEASE reach out to someone or seek them help. A medical professional. A friend. A family member. A pastor. A stranger. A hotline. I know problems sometimes seem insurmountable but suicide is never the answer. I am working on gathering resources to distribute and share on my blog, but you can contact me in the meantime for more details or to assist me with research.

A bright light, extinguished much too soon. Karissa, may you rest in peace, in the arms of the Lord.

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

~ "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan



Photo credit: Hamed Saber

2 comments:

angie said...

thanks so much for this wonderful post...I too met her thru her blog and never in person...we had planned to meet though...she was only 2 hrs away from me...we talked daily...she held a giveaway for my artwork...she was a beautiful engery spirit and is missed horribly...
Angie
one4earth

Caroline said...

Your post makes me want to cry. I too posted a goodbye - I just cannot believe it. Beautifully written! She will be missed by so many. smilinggreenmom

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